Hi y’all (a clue to where I am!)
Went to see ‘The King’s Speech’ earlier this month. Brilliant film and I hope Colin gets his Oscar. Anyway, it made me think of the most common response I get when someone hears that I’m a voice coach. It’s amazing how many of them say ‘oh I hate my voice!’
Now why do you think we feel like that? Well it could have something to do with an accent you’ve acquired that you don’t quite like. (Recently I worked with a lady who hated her Liverpool accent, which was a puzzle to her as she had never lived there and neither had her family). We also have a very strange perception of what makes a nice voice. We hear our own voice resonated in the head where it can sound quite rich and full. The problem is that other people hear it as it carries through the air which can be very different. Therefore the voice on your ansaphone is speaking the ‘truth’ – that is how other people perceive you. It is perfectly possible to change the way you sound by thinking about speaking clearly and taking a little bit more time so that words don’t become rushed. To make yourself heard, if you have a quiet voice, just remember to open your mouth a little bit more to let out the sound and my most frequent request is to BREATHE PROPERLY!
None of these things are very difficult to do but unfortunately your speech habits are quite difficult to break and you will require a bit of determination. It can be worth it as people notice subtle changes and appreciate your efforts to communicate more effectively. Try it and see.
Back to ‘The King’s Speech’. The King saw his stammer as an insurmountable obstacle in his role as monarch but with help, he was able to control it so that it wasn’t controlling him. I suppose that’s what I mainly help people to do – be in control.
So, briefly, to my month which was busy if you’ve been following my tweets you’ll know I’ve had day workshops and lots of business clients. Now I’m having a short break but gearing up for my next ‘Dynamic Speaking’ day on 4 March – just 2 places left so if you want to improve your presentation skills with a very interactive session take a look at the website here
I’ll be back soon but until then:
Speak Loud & Clear!
Phone: 01455 230317